The Constant winelands
Last Sunday was one of my favorite races in Cape Town. The Grape Run is a half-marathon (21.1k) race through the vineyards of the Constantia wine farms. The scenery is spectacular, and for a total elevation of over 420m, for a half marathon it’s a pretty tough run. Note I say run and not race. While of course you can race it, this is an opportunity to enjoy the route, take a few photos, and of course stop for the mid-race wine-tasting. Yes you heard correctly. There is a 10k wine table, serving Klein Constantia wines.
While you almost never get wine on a race, this particular wine-tasting is a Grape Run tradition, it wouldn’t be quite the same without it!
Running around one of the farm dams
At least the farm dams still have water, so if we run out of water in Cape Town we can still drink Constantia wine
Because its on the farm roads, there are almost no supporters, except for the occasional overprotective cow and calf.
Last weekend I went for a run in Cecelia and Newlands forests. It is such a privilege to have since amazing forests in my back garden. It had been pouring with rain for most of the day, so everything was wet and had that crisp and clean smell you get after the rain.
An old tree reflecting in a puddle.
The silver leaf trees on the jeep track. These trees literally look somebody has spray-painted the leaves with sliver paint, and they glisten with an almost mystical sparkle as you run past them.
Running up – there was plenty of running up, and of course running down on this run.
I’m convinced this trail was created for hobbits, or just for really short people. I had to bend over and just about crawl my way through the vegetation.
It was an excellent day out, and you don’t need to be a runner to enjoy these trails. There are plenty of walkers and families going for shorter strolls in both Cecelia and Newlands forests at the weekends.
Running on the beach at sunrise (pic from Energy Events)
Wednesday was the second Muizenberg Monster Beach Run – a 20k “there and back again” dash starting on Muizenberg beach. Only about 45 or so peopled entered, and I ran it in 2:01, with a very respectable position of 22nd. But it was tough running on the beach – even though most of the sand is hard, there are still soft spots, and you are always running on a slight camber.
The start line
My trail shoes were so full of sand by the end that I had to wash them with the hose-pipe afterwards. But it was amazing running on the beach as the sun slowly rose, and the sky went from almost black, to a golden yellow sunrise, and then into the day.
I will be back next year!
One of the water crossings
If you are feeling energetic, there is a lovely walk from Constantia Nek up the mountain to the dams on the back of Table Mountain. While it is only around 7km or so, it is very steep.
The dams were built in the late 1800’s so have historical value for Cape Town.
Woodhead Reservoir wall
Woodhead Reservoir sign
Part of the mechanism of one of the dams
If you are keen to do the walk, here is the route I took (but I ran it).
A few days ago I posted about me entering the Two Oceans Marathon. This is a quick update to let you know that I finished the 56km race, and I finished it under the cutoff time of 7 hours (6:53 to be exact). This was my second ultra-marathon, and while I found it extremely physically tough (but then I guess that any run that long is going to be tough), mentally it was a much easier race.
While running it I was seriously wondering why on earth I had got up at 3:30am to run 56k, but as soon as I got home and had a good bath I started thinking about what I could do differently for next year! But the support from my fellow runners and the spectators was simply amazing. I don’t think I could do it without that comradery.
And yes, I will see you next year!
About 2km from the end – I was a lot more sore that it looks